A SOLDIER who who was awarded a medal for his bravery stole an iPad cable and shampoo in a “moment of madness," a court heard.

Adam Hosford, of Edward Pease Way, Darlington, was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for bravery in 2010 after he saved the lives of 24 people while on duty with the Army in Iraq.

However, on January 30 this year following an eight-hour drinking session, the 21-year-old soldier stole an iPad charger as well as shampoo and conditioner from customers at the Boot and Shoe pub, in Darlington.

Blair Martin told Darlington Magistrates’ Court today that Hosford, who joined the Army when he was 16, said he was “nine-out-of-ten drunk” when he stole the items from a private bedroom in the pub.

“He was trying to find the gents toilets but ended up in the room and took the items,” he said.

“To use the cliché it was a moment of madness. He told the occupants of the room he had permission from the landlord to be in there.”

The court was told Hosford had two previous convictions for robbery in 2010, as well as an Army conviction last year, which he was appealing.

Mo Sibert of Darlington’s probation service, who prepared a report on Hosford, said it was extremely rare for a soldier to be awarded an MSM medal.

“Whatever happens today you will never be able to take that away from him,” she said.

“I think he is a good soldier and they think a lot about him.

“He knows he cannot keep coming back to the courts. He knows every time he comes to the courts it is a double whammy from the Army and the courts."

Hosford reached the rank of Lance Corporal before being demoted to Trooper following his conviction last year.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and magistrates ordered him to pay a fine of £650 as well as £85 costs and £65 victim surcharge.

Glynn Wales, chairman of the bench, said: “You are a very smart young man.

“You need to put this behind you and realise we have treated you very leniently and we do not want to besmirch what could be a very promising military career.”

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